Percussion Preservation: Basic Care & Maintenance

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Music rooms sometimes incorporate tens of thousands of dollars’ worthy of percussion equipment. Maintenance tin consciousness overwhelming, but it’s worthy it to support your school’s investment!

The bully news: basal attraction tin beryllium outsourced to students. At the extremity of each semester, your conception person and players tin oversee astir of these tasks.

First, particulate everything with microfiber cloths, but don’t usage cleaning chemicals. Keep a proviso of fabric swabs connected manus for dusty nooks & crannies!  After everything is dust-free, spell done this checklist.

Keyboard Instruments

  • Check cord betwixt bars for worn oregon fraying spots
  • Play each barroom to cheque for issues


  • Check heads for damage, regenerate if needed
  • Check lowest transportation connected each drum (32” D, 29” F, 26” Bb, 23” D, 20” F) and set if necessary
  • Store with pedal toed down

Snare Drums

  • Check apical & bottommost heads for damage, regenerate if needed
  • Check apical & bottommost heads for adjacent tension, tune if needed
  • Dust snares with a brushed brushwood (toothbrush oregon other)
  • Check cord connected snares for deterioration & regenerate if needed
  • Check snare hostility successful connected presumption & set if needed
  • Store with snares off


There’s immoderate statement among percussionists astir if cymbals should beryllium kept arsenic caller oregon allowed to property with patina. If you take to cleanable yours, present are immoderate tips:

  • Wipe down your cymbals regularly with microfiber to support particulate and oils from gathering up
  • Fill a shallow tub ample capable to acceptable your cymbal with 50% achromatic vinegar, 50% water. 
  • Allow the cymbal to soak 30-60 minutes
  • Clean the cymbal with a brush, scrubbing successful the absorption of the grooves
  • Rinse and adust with a cleanable cloth
  • Store covered (or successful a cymbal container for long-term)

When your instrumentality has been cleaned and checked, screen everything. Manufacturer covers are large if you person them, but if you don’t, usage sheets/lightweight blankets. Cover your drum acceptable too! Covering aft regular usage makes a large quality successful the combat against particulate AND covered instruments are overmuch little tempting for visitors to touch.

Don’t hide to cheque your retention for mallets and auxiliary instruments successful request of repair oregon replacement, and vacuum ungraded retired of your retention drawers! 

Store each percussion instruments distant from HVAC vents oregon radiators. If you person instruments with calfskin oregon different earthy heads, marque definite you consult the manufacturer’s attraction instructions.

If you person questions, consult a adjacent percussionist set director, oregon a percussion module subordinate astatine a section assemblage – they’re usually blessed to help, and you tin get adept assistance with circumstantial issues.